Constipation is where an individual has difficulty with bowel movements or bowel regularity. It most commonly affects elderly people. But, it has begun to impact younger men and women more and more.
While aging has a role to play in decreased bowel function and regularity, diet is an often overlooked factor. Despite often being overlooked, your diet is likely the primary reason behind your constipation.
This is especially true if you’re a younger reader. Taking the right nutrients prevent constipation and improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
This means that eating the right diet can help you get more out of your food and remove the discomfort of constipation.
Unfortunately, the Western diet nowadays often doesn’t provide many, if any, of these nutrients. Processed foods and meats are all lacking in key nutrients that help gut health. This means that your chances of getting constipation increases if you’re following one of these diets.
This led us to put together an article detailing how your diet might be causing your constipation and what key nutrients and foods you need to take in to prevent it.
How what you’re eating might be causing your constipation
When examining the impact of diet and constipation, the issue usually comes down to nutrient insufficiency. By and large, people with constipation aren’t taking in enough of certain nutrients for how much overall food they’re eating.
Fortunately, this list of nutrients is usually small. This means the nutrient deficiency can usually be fixed. Below, we take a look at the most common nutrients that can help solve constipation and avoid medication. We’ll also look at how you can add them to your diet.
Fiber is a type of sugar that can’t be broken down by the body. This might sound bad. But, because fiber can’t be broken down, it moves through the bowels and helps digestion and movement. So, it should come as no surprise that insufficient fiber in the diet is one of the main causes of constipation.
In the modern-day western diet, fiber is sorely lacking too. The high amount of processed food and red meats makes getting in any fiber very tough, which increases the risk of constipation.
There are two types of fiber that you can get in your diet: insoluble and soluble. Knowing the difference between both of these types of fiber, and how to get them in your diet, will help keep your bowels healthy and movements regular.
Insoluble fiber is fiber that doesn’t mix with fluid and is the toughest type of fiber. It’s this type of fiber that helps move food through the bowels best.
This type of fiber can be found in whole grains. Foods like wholewheat pasta, seeds, and brown rice are all good options. Some cereals like oats are also a good option. These foods can easily replace more processed and common foods like white pasta and rice. This small change will help give you a diet that’s more nutrient-rich and gut healthy.
This kind of fiber mixes with water in your body to form a gel-like substance. This substance helps collect excremental and ensure that your bowel movements are regular and neat.
Insoluble fiber also helps with nutrient absorption. So, you can rest easier knowing you’re getting the most nutrition out of the foods your eating by keeping your intake of this nutrient high.
This type of fiber can be found in foods like bananas and other fruits, cereals and green vegetables.
Aside from insufficient fiber intake, another reason for constipation is inflammation. High inflammation can cause damage to cells lining the gut. This then leads to issues with digestion and constipation.
Fortunately, taking in foods like fruits and vegetables help provide the body with antioxidants. These help fight inflammation and keep your cells healthy.
Antioxidants also have a range of health benefits, including helping your body function and preventing illnesses like cancer.
So, including a bowl of fruit and vegetables into your diet, each day can boost your fiber and antioxidant intake. This can help give you healthier bowels and more regular bowel movements.
While fiber and antioxidants often get headlines as key ways to fix constipation, probiotics often go unnoticed.
But, these nutrients are one of the most important for gut health and more. Probiotics are healthy bacteria you can find in yogurt and cheese. They live in the gut to help digestion and nutrient absorption. They also help regulate the immune system and mood.
So, to boost your physical and mental health, as well as keep your digestive system healthy, add some probiotics to your diet.